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Red Sox shut down reliever Tyler Thornburg for rest of season

John Tomase
September 26, 2018 - 12:19 pm

The Red Sox can cross one name off their list of potential postseason relievers: Tyler Thornburg.

Manager Alex Cora said before Wednesday's doubleheader against the Orioles that the team will "stay away" from Thornburg, who has been pushed as far as his recovery from shoulder surgery would allow.

"There's no need to push him hard," Cora said. "For us, we talked to him, we're happy with everything he did throughout the season and getting to the point that he was competing at this level, but his last few, as far as command, it wasn't there, he wasn't able to bounce back, so we decided to stay away from him.

"The way (trainer) Brad (Pearson) talks about it, we pushed it to the point where this is enough for the season. We feel that he's going to be OK, he's going to have a really good offseason, and he should be fine next year."

Thornburg underwent thoracic outlet surgery and missed the entire 2017 season. He returned this year and pitched well in July, but his command had abandoned him in recent outings. He's 2-0 with a 5.63 ERA in 25 outings. He has pitched just three times this month, his last outing coming nearly two weeks ago on Sept. 14 in an 8-0 loss to the Mets when he allowed a pair of home runs in just 2/3 of an inning.

So now Thornburg will look ahead to a normal offseason and what the team expects will be a productive 2019.

"He's excited about that, but he's frustrated about this," Cora said. "It's kind of like (Eduardo) Nunez when he talks about going into the offseason and Dustin (Pedroia) now going into the offseason. It's all different. It's not that you go to the offseason to rehab. You go through your normal routine and you do all your baseball activities, and going into spring training, there's no hesitation. You know this is what we're going to do, this is the plan, we're going to throw bullpens, I'm going to pitch right away, and I should be fine. So he's looking forward to that."